KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia, under fire over its fruitless search for a missing airliner, on Friday denied it had hired a prominent Muslim shaman to stage bizarre rituals seeking divine guidance in the hunt.
An official religious watchdog in the Muslim-majority country also said it was sending personnel to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) to prevent further occurences.
The rituals, captured in photos and videos that went viral and sparked ridicule for adding a farcical element to the grave situation, were staged this week by self-described faith healer Ibrahim Mat Zin.
On Wednesday, Ibrahim, 80, directed three assistants wearing business suits to sit on a tapestry as they lifted objects including large green coconuts over their heads.
"Regarding the presence of a 'bomoh' or shaman at KLIA, we would like to categorically state that neither the government, nor any of its agencies, had any role or involvement in the shaman's presence at the airport," a government statement said.